Metro Detroit hospitals prepare for equipment shortage by making their own

Henry Ford gets proactive during COVID-19 outbreak

DETROIT – The Henry Ford Health System isn’t waiting for a shortage of personal protective equipment to start preparing.

“Not everybody that should have one can have one right now, and we’re holding them for the critical areas in our ICUs and ERs, not for all of our personnel," said CEO of Henry Ford Innovation Institute, Dr. Scott Dulchavsky.

Instead of waiting for the next delivery of masks and eye protection, the hospitals have started making their own during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

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Employees at Henry Ford Allegiance suggested making personal protection equipment, which will now be produced at the Henry Ford Innovation Institute in Detroit.

“We’re sewing them together to be double-sided and then the inside will have a filtration device that we’re using like furnace filters, but we’re taking them apart and putting then inside an insert," said Alex Moceri, who runs the institute. “The shields will have a plastic vinyl kind of cover that with a headband, it’s very crafty, arts and craft like but they’re very helpful.”

The masks can be washed and reused.

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How COVID-19 Spreads

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

  • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
  • Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How easily the virus spreads

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

Prevention & Treatment

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

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People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

Question about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge here.

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